A military author is trying to “put right a great wrong” by raising funds to restore a headless statue that was erected to commemorate a young fallen soldier from Worksop.
John Broom said he was “shocked and saddened” to discover the headless memorial, which commemorates a 22-year-old Private George Jackson of 2/5 Sherwood Foresters, in the cemetery of St. John’s Church in Carlton-in-Lindrick.
John, an author and historian from Sheffield, is now searching for relatives of Private Jackson and has also set up a a fundraising appeal to have the memorial restored at an estimated cost of £1,000.
He said: “Of the many hundreds of memorials I have come across, this was the first example of a statue on the grave of an individual, rather than for a community monument.
“The inscription on the memorial states that Private Jackson fell in action in France, March 21 1918, aged 22 years. The memorial was erected by his sorrowing mother, Charlotte Padley, who later died in 1926.
“I wondered how the monument came to be like this- I’m hoping it’s nature rather than vandalism.”
Futher research by John using Worksop Guardian newspaper archives revealed that George was a “well-conducted youth” and “respected by all who knew him” in Worksop.
Before enlisting, he left school before finding employment at the Worksop Co-operative society.
George’s body was never recovered and he is one of nearly 35,000 names on the Arrass Memorial.
His grieving mother would have received £24 12s 6d in back pay and war gratuity, which John thinks could have been used to pay for the memorial statue.
Anyone with information on Private George Jackson or his relatives can contact John by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit his blog at faithinwartime.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/restoring-the-memory-of-george-wallace-jackson-sherwood-foresters.
“Please spread the word so we can put right what I find to be a great wrong done to the memory of Private George Jackson and his grieving mother,” added John.